Imagining a Peace Curriculum: What Second-Language Education Brings to the Table

Just as peace and justice studies contributes much to Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, the reverse is also true: second-language classes are particularly rich sites to explore diverse notions of the common good and implications for peace and war. Because of the intercultural interactions in such classrooms, and because such classes focus on language and communication, these settings offer unique opportunities to develop pedagogies addressing interethnic conflict and the dehumanizing language and images that promote it. English as a Second Language classrooms are productive settings for the telling of stories that counter official ones. Here we focus on critical pedagogies and curricula in two classroom settings. In the first, a class including Muslim students employs a critical media literacy perspective to investigate post-September 11th biases against Muslims. In the second, students read literature related to war and peace, examine its language, and make connections with their own stories and identities.

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